Focaccia-Style Sheet Pan Pizza

Focaccia-Style Sheet Pan PizzaSmoke Adjustment
Normally, when the temperatures get toasty, I do a lot of grilling. Grilling outside means that the house stays cooler inside. I had planned to write about cooking pizzas on the grill for this week but, circumstances being what they are, grilling isn’t an option.

Once again the Golden State is dealing with horrific fires that have burned thousands of acres, destroyed homes, and taken lives. And, all of that on top of an ongoing pandemic. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting. Not to mention devastating to those who are experiencing it first hand. The air quality just does not lend itself to outside pizza making.  But, I’m still in the mood to make some pizza. So, I have been looking for alternative ways to get my cheese and carb fix.

I found this recipe for Focaccia-Style Sheet Pan Pizza in a recent copy of Milk Street magazine. While it does qualify as pizza, it is not your typical neighborhood delivery type pie. It’s actually got a crust more like focaccia. (Okay, my mouth just started watering at the mention of focaccia…) The dough for this crust is pretty wet, so the trick to making this sheet pan pizza is to not use fresh mozzarella and to top it with ingredients that do not have a lot of moisture to keep the top from getting too soggy. You can try regular pizza sauce—but use it sparingly. Lightly brushing it on with a pastry brush would be ideal. This is what I have had to do because the original recipe called for sliced up cherry tomatoes on top and that is a no go for a few people in my household. You just want enough to give it some tomato flavor without wetting it down. Also, if you want a little more bang for your buck, you can chop up some fresh rosemary to add to the crust dough to give it some tasty fresh flavor.

Focaccia-Style Sheet Pan Pizza Recipe
Yields 4 to 6 servings
Adapted from 177 Milk Street

For the dough
2-1/4 cups plus 2-1/2 tablespoons bread flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2-1/4 ounce packet instant yeast (4-1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (optional)
1-1/2 cup water, 100 ºF to 110 ºF
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (plus more for oiling hands)

For the pizza
2 to 3 tablespoons pizza sauce
6-ounces whole mile, mozzarella cheese, shredded (3 cups)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Flaky sea salt, for finishing (optional)

For the toppings (use any combination)
Sliced cherry tomatoes, patted dry
Sliced pepperoni or salami
Italian sausage, sliced or crumbled
Pitted and halved green or black olives
Roasted red peppers, patted dry
Artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
Sliced red onion
Fresh basil

Make the dough
Using a stand mixer with the dough hook set on medium or a bowl and wooden spoon, mix the flour, sugar, and yeast until combined. With the mixer running on medium, add the water and mix until a sticky dough forms (about 5 minutes). Scrape the bowl once during mixing. Add the rosemary, if using, and mix until it is evenly distributed. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Add 4 teaspoons kosher salt and mix on medium for another 5 minutes. The dough should be shiny, wet and elastic.

Allow the dough to rise
Coat a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Scrape the dough into the bowl and flip it to oil all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in warm spot for 4 to 5 hours.

Assemble the pizza
When the dough is risen, generously spray a 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, then pour 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil onto the center of the baking sheet. Gently scrape the dough onto the center of the sheet and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, oil your hands, and, working from the center, gently push the it into an even layer to the edges and into the corners of the baking sheet. Make certain you don’t press out all of the air. It’s okay if the dough does not completely fill the pan, but it should come close.

Lightly brush the pizza sauce over the dough with a pastry brush leaving a 1/2 inch border. Let rest for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500 ºF.

Add the toppings
Add your toppings of choice. Scatter the cheese over the dough, then sprinkle with oregano, pepper, and kosher or flaky salt (if using).

Bake the pizza
Bake until the surface of the pizza is golden brown and the bottom is crisped and well browned (about 18 to 20 minutes). Slide the pizza from the pan onto a wire rack and cool for a few minutes before slicing.



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